While electroplating is often used to improve the aesthetic appearance of a base material, this technique is used for several other purposes across multiple industries. These uses include the following:
Build thickness: Electroplating is often used to build up the thickness of a substrate through the progressive use of thin layers.
Protect substrate: Electroplated layers serve as sacrificial metal coatings. This means that when a part is placed in a harmful environment, the plated layer breaks down before the base material, protecting the substrate from damage.
Lend surface properties: Electroplating allows substrates to benefit from the properties of the metals they are plated with. For example, some metals protect against corrosion, improve electrical conductivity, reduce friction or prepare a surface for better paint adhesion. Different metals lend different properties.
Improve appearance: Of course, electroplating is also commonly used to improve the aesthetic appearance of a substrate. This can mean plating the substrate with an aesthetically pleasing metal or simply applying a layer to improve surface uniformity and quality.